The Path to Development

The Path to Development
A look at a technical assistant and his work in rural development in Guatemala
Video Duration: 
Juan Andréz Pérez
Monday, July 18, 2016

This is me! My name is Juan Andrés Pérez Xoquíc; I come from a family of farmers. I’ve had a rough childhood but thanks to God and my parents, I could keep my head above the water with a lot of effort and sacrifice. I have finished university. I have been contributing to the development with the FOMAGRO and FUNDAP program. And I would like to share my story.

I still remember my first day. I arrived way too early and I had very high hopes. My only knowledge about agronomy came from school and from my home.

I work at 3 locations: San Miguel Sigüilá, San Juan Ostuncalco and San Martín Sacatepequez; all situated in Quetzaltenango. These places share aspects like the language Mam, the habits and the climate. In these locations families live in very difficult conditions because they have no safe place to live, no soil to cultivate, there is a lot of poverty and a lack of education, basic facilities, and opportunities.

During the six years in this zone, my contribution has brought several important improvements. I can manage the language, so I can communicate, but still no changes are possible if the families don’t go on with the projects we started.

The goal of the work I have done there is to alert the families that they have the responsibility to produce their own food, to make full use of their means, and to use their creativity to solve problems. We want to give them the tools so they can provide for their own development. This implies stimulating productive projects, trainings and constant technical assistance to make the changes possible.

Meanwhile I have identified that the engagement of the families is the key to getting ahead and I emphasize the most important factor: the participation of the women in this whole process. I am convinced that this is still missing, but there are people who can ensure that the process will continue for the benefit of the families and the community.

Despite the limitations of the families, they have a very big heart because they share the little they possess every time I arrive at the community. They appreciate the simple fact that the field technician arrives at their house. This way they feel less abandoned and it fills their eyes with enthusiasm. This satisfies me in a personal manner and it makes me want to try even harder.


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